It’s been 10 days since my boyfriend returned from the Dominican Republic and I have yet to see him in the flesh. On Monday, April 4th, 2011, my phone rings its soft melody and, when I glance over, I am thrilled to read his name off the caller ID. He landed – he says once I pick up – just at that instant.
“I missed you…did you miss me?” I ask, feeling vulnerable and fragile.
“Of course I missed you. You’re the first person I called,” he reassures.
I relax; my shoulders loosen, returning to their natural state. “I’ll see you tomorrow and I’ll call you later on tonight,” he finishes before ending our conversation.
The phone never rings that night and I never get a visit the following day. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday: various conversations take place. I am the one who is mostly calling. I feel myself keeping a tally. I am the one who is initiating talks about “us” and questioning his feelings and current state of mind.
He says he wants to see me. He is not pulling away from our relationship. Yo quiero estar con mi mujer.
Yet I sense that something is different. I learned long ago that words cannot stand alone. Without action and follow through, words loose their meaning, becoming lost in translation. So I bitch. Demand to be seen. But nothing changes.
The weekend rolls around and still no sight of him, aside from the warped fantasies that fill my mind. My toxic thoughts lead me to relive my failed relationships. Daddy issues consume and I sob for two nights – one night in my pillow and the other over the phone to my friend Christina.
Something has changed, I cry. I’ve been here before, I weep. He doesn’t want to be with me anymore, I panic.
Monday morning comes around. It’s been 7 days since my boyfriend returned from the Dominican Republic and I have yet to see him in the flesh. I wake up with a pounding headache and sore eyes. Still, I feel stronger than ever. I pick up my iPhone and compose a text message. “If you don’t want to be with me anymore tell me, so I can move on,” I finish. I press send. What follows is a flurry of text messages where he is apologizing for not calling, not being there. My phone rings while I am in the middle of reading his text. I pick up. He can hardly speak. He can’t swallow his own spit. He has strep throat and needs to go to the emergency room. In between coughs, he tries to soothe my worries. “I’m so sorry. I know I haven’t been there but it’s not what you think.” I nod. “Go to the ER and feel better,” I respond mechanically.
Tuesday morning. I try not to call but do anyway. I want to know how he’s feeling because though his treatment of me isn’t the same, I still care. He picks up. “Something has changed…” I begin. “Something is happening that you’re not telling me,” I continue. He acknowledges that there is a change but sticks to his story. “There is something going on but it’s not about us y no es de mujeres. It’s a family issue that I’m dealing with right now…you know I’m a private person and I just need to figure some things out,” he states. “I will call you later on…” And with that, the conversation is over.
1am. My phone rings its soft melody and, when I glance over, I am shocked to read his name off the caller ID. I pick up and we speak of the superficial as I am tired of harping on what was and questioning what is. He asks about Mami and my step-father. He asks about work. He tells me how happy his daughter was when she received the dress I helped her create. It’s 1:30am and the conversation ends. “I’m going to go back to bed. I just called to eat and talk to you,” he whispered sweetly. “Thank you,” I responded, the detachment in my voice evident. He blows me a kiss and asks for a kiss in return as it has been our routine throughout our 3-month relationship.
“No…I’m not there yet,” I exclaim with conviction.
That was Tuesday night. Today is Thursday and it’s been 10 days since my boyfriend returned from the Dominican Republic and I have yet to see him in the flesh. On Saturday, April 16th, 2011, I will turn 33 years old and I don’t know if my phone will ring its soft melody and his name will appear on my caller ID. I don’t know if he will be there beside me to celebrate and kiss me when the cake is placed on the mantel. All I know is that something has changed.